“We are confident we will come to an agreement and will honor our commitments,” Mario Andrada, Rio 2016’s head of communications, told Bloomberg.
He added that, along with the stuff, the committee is still planning on procuring more cash to make its last payments. It is unclear, however, when that will come through. The committee has until June to settle its debts with suppliers. If it doesn’t, the debts will then be passed along to local and state governments, and the committee will be disbanded.
That also won’t likely be a happy solution, as Brazil’s economy is in bad shape. It was left even worse off after the Olympics, which cost billions to organize and run. Estimates for the building of the infrastructure alone run between $15 billion and $20 billion.
“[The city] is in the worst condition in 20 years,” Ignacio Cano, a professor of sociology at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, told The Washington Post’s Dom Phillips last year. “You have an economic crisis, a political crisis, a moral crisis. There is a general perception of a very dark time. The perception was that things were getting better. Now the perception is everything is deteriorating.”
As an example, a local prison recently couldn’t even afford mattresses for its inmates. The Olympics did come in handy here when the committee sent old mattresses and blankets from the athletes’ residences in the Olympic Village to the jail, Bloomberg reports. Ironically, one current inmate is former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, who helped the city win the bid in 2009. Cabral was arrested in November for allegedly organizing a group that made $66 million in bribes connected to state government contracts, some of which pertained to the Olympics.
“He’s probably sleeping on an Olympic mattress [now],” Andrada told Bloomberg about Cabral in prison.